Has the ultimate chiptune machine arrived?


We are not sure how many chiptune software synths that are out there in cyberspace, we recon endless versions all attempting to mimic that pleasant sound of vintage machines – that we of course all love so much. Still today tons of tracks are spiced up a bit by adding small quirks, beats and beeps from those classic chip sets. Not to forget the entire school of die hard fans of chip tune nostalgia tunes whether shaped as micro electro pop songs or wanna be arcade game melodies.

However now there is a serious contender on the chip tune arena in the shape of a hardware synth that may prove to be the ultimate machine for doing just that.

Twisted Electrons – the boutique company behind 8-bit synths such as the hapiNES – has introduced a new instrument based on the Commodore 64’s legendary SID sound chip.

The therapKid inherits several features from the company’s existing therapSID, but where that synth required the installation of a real SID chip (which can be tricky to get hold of), the therapKid recreates both the grittier 6581 chip and the stronger filter of the 8580 chip.

Despite the duophonic synth’s simplistic 8-bit heritage, the architecture is reasonably complex for an instrument of its size. Each voice is powered by four oscillators. Each of the eight waveforms can be adjusted for volume and tuning individually, which makes it ideal for creating chords and drones.

It also features an arpeggiator, ring modulator, the option to switch between duophonic and monophonic modes, a 50-slot preset memory, MIDI and MIDI over USB. The synth is also powered via USB.

The therapKid is expected to be available in May for €255. You can pre-order it from Twisted Electrons.

Features:

  •     Set the volume of the 8 waveforms independently*
  •     Tune each of the 8 waveforms independently (chords, drones!)*
  •     Sine wave for pure tones and deep sub bass*
  •     Muti-mode arpeggiator
  •     Ring modulator
  •     Duophonic or monophonic modes
  •     Hybrid 6581/8580 inspired multimode filter (Low pass, High pass, Band Pass, Notch)
  •     Dual therapSid style LFO with up to 48 connections that can be made a a push of a button.
  •     50 Preset memory with wild random preset generator
  •     USB-MIDI
  •     Sturdy powder-coated steel case
  •     Hardware MIDI via included 3.5mm >Din5 cable
  •     USB Powered (can be battery powered with a USB battery brick)
  •     185mm x95mm x30mm